Asterix is the enemy in 40e Du Gaulois’ album, due for release in several countries on October 26, will feature the role of a philosophical guru skilled in “positive thinking” known as Wisevertus, the publisher revealed on Monday.
• Read more: In pictures | An enthusiast recreates Asterix’s village in competitions
• Read more: An Asterix board sold for $241,226
L’Iris Blanc (48 pages) will be published simultaneously in 20 languages with more than five million copies.
It is the sixth album designed by Didier Conrad, who took over the series in 2013 after the retirement of Albert Uderzo, one of the two creators of Asterix. He is assisted by best-selling author Fabcaro on the screenplay.
During a press conference at Hassett Livre’s headquarters in Vanves, near Paris, the authors explained that the plot revolves around Julius Caesar’s physician and philosopher, Tullius Wisevertus.
L’Iris Blanc, “It was a school. He was inspired by a Greek philosopher to develop his method,” Fabcaro explained.
Wisevertus would not only boost the morale of the Roman soldiers, but also cause division within the Gallic countryside. This new philosophy, advocating compassion, vegetarianism and meditation, would find its supporters, such as Ponnemine, the wife of the village chief, and its detractors, such as the suspicious Asterix.
To draw him, Didier Conrad first envisioned a young man. But with the screenwriter and editor, the choice fell on a mature man with white, shoulder-length hair.
Each new Asterix album, despite the disappearance of two of its creators (screenwriter René Goschini in 1977 and designer Albert Uderzo in 2020), is a big event in bookstores every two years.
“Asterix couldn’t be better,” said Isabelle Magnac, General Director of Hachette Illustré. He noted the attendance record of Parc Asterix in Blyde, north of Paris, with more than 2.8 million visitors in 2022.
Éditions Albert René, which owns the rights, is one of Hachette Livre’s most profitable groups.
“Pop culture practitioner. Award-winning tv junkie. Creator. Devoted food geek. Twitter lover. Beer enthusiast.”